A lantern trail of curiosity – Alice in Winterland

With my train being late I cried “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date” as I had a special invite to attend the press launch of Alice in Winterland Festival at Southwark Park along with some other community members of Love Pop Ups London.

Alice in Winterland Rabbit late

This winter from 28th November 2018 to 5th January 2019, London becomes home to Alice in Winterland which is an enchanting new lantern festival adventure through the Golden Gates of Southwark Park and enter into the sparkling magical world of Winterland.

Alice in Winterland Festival

Alice in Winterland poster

Things to Do Ltd are experts in leisure and events, from unique seasonal events that can’t be found anywhere else such as Alice in Winterland.

They are committed to bringing quality handmade lanterns that immerse guests into a fantasy world and provide people with a storytelling experience like no other.

As they love to bring families together, especially during the festive season and that’s why their seasonal events are so special as they have something for everyone.

Whether you are an Alice in Wonderland fan, enjoy Christmas markets, love large handmade lanterns or simply just love a night out filled with fun and alternative things, then Alice in Winterland is the perfect adventure.

The organisers have taken and considered all aspects of holding their festival at Southwark Park from animal welfare to local impact. They are also helping by giving a financial contribution to Southwark council for the use of part of the park with funding going into the council’s events budget which pays for the annual (free for Southwark residents) fireworks event, Bermondsey Carnival, and a range of other hugely popular free events across the Borough.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel which was written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells a tale of a girl named Alice who fell down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. With its narrative course, structure, characters, and imagery has enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.

The book has inspired numerous film and television adaptations.

Now Alice in Winterland Festival will take fans of Alice in Wonderland through Alice’s adventure where you’ll be able to meet peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures just like her.

Becoming Alice at Alice in Winterland

Once I approached the Golden Gates to Alice in Winterland magical lantern festival “Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried I (as I was so much surprised, that for the moment I quite literally forgot how to speak good English) upon entering the festival of wonder and delight.

Alice in Winterland entrance

Ever wondered “What is the use of a book, without pictures” when you want to see the world of Alice. With Alice in Winterland wonder no more about books without pictures as this immersive storytelling experience will take you on an imaginative journey through a fantastical world of illumination where you’ll meet wonderful characters by Lewis Carroll from the White Rabbit to The Queen of Hearts, all whilst venturing through insect city, a magical flower garden, a fun-filled caucus race and much more.

Alice in Winterland - frame

Charlotte and I snapped in a frame

Upon stepping through the Golden Gates of Southwark through to this lantern light festival there was no time to say “goodbye”, no time to say “hello” as I was on an important adventure through this magical world, with a snap here and a snap there with so many different characters from Alice in Wonderland to photograph.

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop”

Alice in Winterland - Alice

First stop was to take myself down the rabbit hole by sliding down a slide unlike Alice who tumbled down a rabbit hole.

Alice in Winterland - Rabbit hole

It was then time for me to be take on my own wondrous journey in which I got to experience 160 giant lanterns telling the story of both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Alice in Winterland - Alice

5 metre tall Alice

From a 5 metre tall Alice to the life-size Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, with 29 interactive and immersive scenes.

Alice in Winterland - drink me Alice

Alice in Winterland - eat me

Alice’s dilemma “Drink me or eat me?”

Alice in Winterland - Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter

Alice in Winterland - caterpillar

The Smoking Caterpillar

Alice in Winterland - Humpty Dumpty

Alice meets Humpty Dumpty

Alice in Winterland - Elephants

Flying Elephant

Alice in Winterland - Alice and flamingo

Alice playing croquet with a Flamingo

Alice in Winterland Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum

Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum but who is who?

Alice in Winterland - Card

Four of Hearts my lucky number

Alice in Winterland Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts

Alice in Winterland - Flowers

Beautiful Garden

Alice in Winterland - Queen Alice

Alice now Queen

At certain intervals there are boards with snippets of the story of Alice along with a big red button which once pressed you’ll be able to hear the story be read out instead of reading it by a recording which has been recorded by some of the local children from the area which is cute and must have been very special for them to be involved.

The best immersive moment for me had to be when I danced with the Cheshire Cat watch as he mimics your moves.


Alice in Winterland - Santa stop

Near the end children after being delighted by the world of Alice will be able to meet Santa who has made a special stop off at Alice in Winterland Festival as he delivers presents to everyone after all, even the Cheshire Cat.

Alice in Winterland - Santa

So I just had to meet Santa as I am a big kid

The question is “who in the world are we? Ah, that’s the great puzzle” and the answer is that we are still children at heart.

So if you want to find out if you’re on the nice or the naughty list (and I am sure all my readers have been very nice!), then be sure to meet Santa in his Grotto. Plus there is a photo opportunity with Santa.

At the end of meeting all the wonderful characters and Santa of course it was time to grab a meal and drink before heading on out or back.

Joining the Mad Hatters Tea Party

Alice in Winterland

No Wonderland would be complete without a tea party inspired outdoor dining area so before exiting why not indulge in a glass or two of something delicious and sing-a-long to the familiar festive songs sung live on the big stage!

Alice in Winterland - Rabbit and mouse

Mad Hatters Tea Party

As after beginning at the beginning and now at the end it was time to enjoy a meal at the Mad Hatters table as “I suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other, but the great question is ‘What?”.

Alice in Winterland - Mad Hatter Tea

Alice in Winterland - meal

I chose some churros with Nutella sauce. Taking my churros and sitting at the Mad Hatters table I tucked into them but alas they were cold and not warm but non the less still nice and sugary.

Alice in Winterland - drink

One of the many drink and food stands

Plus there were many festive drinks that can be bought from hot chocolate with added Baileys through to Mulled Wine. Just don’t go drinking too much as you don’t want to be uttering the words “I do wish I hadn’t drunk quite so much!” like Alice and your friends uttering “She’s off her head”.

Which way I ought to go exit or back?

Alice in Winterland words

Before leaving and asking “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here to exit” and have a response of perhaps “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” I just had to retrack back through the world of Alice as I am mad about Alice but then again “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad” otherwise you wouldn’t have come to this spectacular festival of light and read my blog. You’ll never want to come out!

Climbing out from the rabbit hole

I loved following the footsteps of Alice through this adventurous journey of wonder and delight. It was colourful, magical and immersive. Really led me taking my mind back to childhood memories of when my mum used to read me Alice in Wonderland in bed. Who would of thought that I would have been able to travel down into Wonderland myself.

“When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!”

If you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass and love large lanterns then I highly recommend you take a journey through the Golden Gates of Southwark and jump down the rabbit hole and take on this very unique immersive adventure like no other.

Take your journey down the rabbit hole

Alice in Winterland will be at Southwark Park from 28th November to 5th January 2019.

Southwark Park, Paradise Gate, Jamaica Road,

Adult (17+ Years) £15.00
Child (4 – 16 Years) £9.00
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children)

If you are a local neighbour you can get a 40% discount
If you are a Southwark resident you can get a 25% discount
Free tickets for local schools

Want to follow the footsteps of Alice along this curiouser and curiouser magical lantern adventure? click here.

Note: Throughout my blog you may of noticed I used some famous quotes from the great writer Lewis Carroll


Thanks to Alice in Winterland for letting me and some other members of Love Pop Ups London come along to take a journey of curiosity through this magical lantern festival. The experience was complimentary but all views are my own honest opinion.

Click below to read the blogs from other community members whom joined me on the night. All their views are of their own honest opinion

Alice in Winterland

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